• published on 3/29/2023
  • 3min

How Different Countries in Europe Celebrate Easter

With Easter quickly approaching, countries across Europe are beginning preparations for the occasion. For many, it is an opportunity to enjoy time with their loved ones in the early Spring weather and lighter, longer evenings.

How Different Countries in Europe Celebrate Easter

Easter celebrations are wide ranging, from enjoying delicious meals and hand painting eggs, to taking part in traditional games. Commemorating this time of year involves a mixture of historic customs as well as new practices.

Let’s take a look at how various countries around Europe celebrate Easter.


Easter is a popular holiday in Italy, with festivities occurring nationwide. Historic costumes are worn, a well-cooked lamb served in homes, and processions organised.

Other activities include dances and trying a piece of Easter cake. Religious events are also widely attended, with people travelling long distances to St. Peter’s Basilica to witness the Pope giving Mass.

Republic of Ireland 

Here, celebrations look slightly different. Cleaning and tidying homes is popular in Ireland at this time of year, while many also pamper themselves and freshen up for the occasion.

Children will roll race eggs down hills in one Easter game, and local priests have historically attended peoples’ homes to offer a blessing. Another custom includes waking up in the early in the morning to ascend a hill and dance while the sun comes up.


Lots of festivities take place in Spain during what is known as ‘Semana Santa’, which translates to ‘Holy Week’. Religion is important in this country, with various events and services attended by large numbers of the population.

Parades are held, with people making the most of the enjoyable atmosphere. Food and drinks are consumed during Semana Semanta as the population uses this time as an opportunity to catch up with friends and family.


Celebrated a week after other countries in Europe, churches open their doors every night for religious services. However, Holy Saturday is the most popularly attended, with Mass finishing at midnight and candles lit amongst visitors by the eternal flame carried by the priest.

You will see red easter eggs in traditional Easter games played in Greece, with food being an important feature too. One such dish is Tsoureki, a plaited bread symbolising the Holy Trinity, which is often served during this occasion and eaten by the whole family.


A historic Hungarian custom saw water poured over the heads of local women by men, in an act that is meant to symbolise fertility. This has been modernised in recent times, more likely including sprayed water and perfume.

Similar to other countries, food is an inherent part of celebrations. A ham is cooked on Easter Sunday, with one Hungarian practice including not eating meat during the Lent period.

In addition, eggs are scratched or waxed to create patterns in another activity. This results in lovely designs to be appreciated during Easter time.


Easter week begins in Croatia on Palm Sunday, with events taking place throughout the week. Olive branches are frequently held at Easter, and can be blessed at the local church.

You will see organic ingredients used to decorate eggs, which also have an essential place in popular games.

Easter breakfast consists of spring onions, horseradish and a ham, an enjoyable part of the festivities. Throughout the week of Easter, parades and events are organised and enjoyed by the masses as the weather starts to get warmer.

United Kingdom

Easter traditions in the United Kingdom are broad, many of which centre around food. Children will take part in decorating eggs, attending Easter egg hunts, and people of all ages are gifted chocolate eggs in the run up to the occasion.

Hot cross buns and roast dinners are another item on the Easter menu for people to enjoy. Shops and supermarkets are closed on Easter Sunday, with Easter Friday and Monday both being bank holidays. Workers take time off from their jobs and children are off from school to spend time with those who matter the most to them.